Gymnastics academy seeks rental resolution


The Rainy Lake Gymnastics Academy is hoping to make a regular routine a thing of the past.

The group has submitted a request that will be read at tonight’s Town Council meeting that will ask council that the Gymnastics Academy be the sole renter of the auditorium at the Memorial Sports Centre, beginning in September 2020.

Currently, both the Gymnastics Academy and the 908 Rainy Lake Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron share the space, with the Air Cadets holding their weekly meetings on Monday evening, after which the Gymnastics Academy sets up their equipment for the week. The academy then tears down the equipment on Saturdays at 4 p.m., or Thursday night if the auditorium has been previously booked for the weekend.

The Gymnastics Academy makes note in its letter to council that the constant set-up and tear-down processes are wearing out some of their equipment at a faster rate than was expected, particularly the spring deck floor which originally cost the Academy $29,250. The Academy states that replacing the floor every few years due to the wear and tear outside of its regular use is “just not feasible.”

According to the request, becoming the sole renter of the auditorium space will increase the amount of programming the Gymnastics Academy is able to offer to potential gymnasts in Fort Frances. The Academy currently has 233 athletes and notes that they have “tremendous demand for additional classes and more spaces in existing ones.”

While the Academy is asking to become the sole renters of the auditorium space, they acknowledge the longtime use of the auditorium by the Air Cadets, and note that they don’t want to force them out or “diminish the value of the program or its members.” The Academy states that they have approached various businesses and organizations in and around the town of Fort Frances to determine if another appropriate space for the Air Cadets and their equipment might be found.

Meanwhile, following the possibility of becoming the new home of the Fort Frances Senior Centre, town council is receiving a recommendation from the Operations and Facilities Executive Committee that the former Children’s Complex building located on 1150 Portage Ave. North be declared surplus and to begin the process of selling the property.

While the building was initially being considered for redevelopment into a new location for the Senior Centre, a cost analysis of the renovations needed to bring it up to standards was found to be in the range of $500,000 to $600,000, where renovations to the existing Senior Centre came in well below that price point. At the Feb. 24 council meeting it was decided that the Senior Centre would stay at its current location and pursue renovations there.

If council approves the report, then the town will post a request for development proposals for the property, with Operations and Facilities Manager Travis Rob noting that there is intent to restrict the sale to development proposals “that would result in [a] tax paying entity owning that property.”

Council will also be asked to approve the Award of Tender of the Scott Street Reconstruction project to 1876118 Ontario Ltd. o/a Makkinga Contracting. The reconstruction project will be a complete replacement of utility lines and repavement of Scott Street from Colonization Road East to Reid Ave, and is expected to begin as soon as possible in May 2020.

Tonight’s regular council meeting will follow the committee of the whole meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

The public portion of the meeting will follow four in-camera items.

The first item is about litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board: Agency One Matters.

The second item is regarding litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board: Potential Risk.

The third and fourth items are in regards to personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.

Other business on the agenda tonight includes:

  • a report re: sponsorship of the Fort Frances Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Aux. Branch 29 “PJs and Pearls” Gala
  • a report re: the Fort Frances Community Garden’s request for water
  • a report re: January 2020 Drinking Water Systems Monthly Summary Report
  • a report re: the Northern Ontario Internship Program Agreement with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
  • a request from Community Living Fort Frances and District re: proclaiming May 2020 as Community Living Month
  • amendment to By-law 03/14-R being a by-law to amend Zoning by-law 03/14, as amended. (Second Dwelling Units)
  • amendment to By-law 03/14-S being a by-law to amend Zoning by-law 03/14, as amended. (Brewery Definitions and Zoning Provision)
  • amendment to By-law 48/19-A being a by-law to amend certain user fees in 2020.